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Table of contents
- Post navigation
- Manipulating Matter at the Atomic Level
- Manipulating Matter at the Atomic Level
Many uses of nanoscale particles have appeared in specialty markets, such as defense applications, and in markets for scientific and technical equipment. Producers of optical materials and electronics substrates such as silicon and gallium arsenide have embraced the use of nanosize particles for chemomechanical polishing of these substrates.
Nanosize particles of silicon carbide, diamond, and boron carbide are used as lapping compounds to reduce the waviness of finished surfaces from corner to corner and produce surface finishes to nm smoothness. The ability to produce such high-quality components is significant for scientific applications and could become even more important as electric devices shrink and optical communications systems become a larger part of the nation's communications infrastructure.
Several nanoscale technologies appear to be 3 to 5 years away from producing practical products. For example, specially prepared nanosized semiconductor crystals quantum dots are being tested as a tool for the analysis of biological systems. Upon irradiation, these dots fluoresce specific colors of light based on their size. Quantum dots of different sizes can be attached to the different molecules in a biological reaction, allowing researchers to follow all the molecules simultaneously during biological processes with only one screening tool.
These quantum dots can also be used as a screening tool for quicker, less laborious DNA and antibody screening than is possible with more traditional methods.
Also promising are advances in feeding nanopowders into commercial sprayer systems, which should soon make it possible to coat plastics with nanopowders for improved wear and corrosion resistance. One can imagine scenarios in which plastic parts replace heavier ceramic or metal pieces in weight-sensitive applications.
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The automotive industry is researching the use of nanosized powders in so-called nanocomposite materials. Several companies have demonstrated injection-molded parts or composite parts with increased impact strength. Full-scale prototypes of such parts are now in field evaluation, and use in the vehicle fleet is possible within 3 to 5 years. Several aerospace firms have programs under way for the use of nanosized particles of aluminum or hafnium for rocket propulsion applications. The improved burn and the speed of ignition of such particles are significant factors for this market.
A number of other near-term potential applications are also emerging. The use of nanomaterials for coating surfaces to give improved corrosion and wear resistance is being examined on different substrates. Several manufacturers have plans to use nanomaterials in the surfaces of catalysts.
The ability of nanomaterials such as titania and zirconia to facilitate the trapping of heavy metals and their ability to attract biorganisms makes them excellent candidates for filters that can be used in liquid separations for industrial processes or waste stream purification. Similarly, new ceramic nanomaterials can be used for water jet nozzles, injectors, armor tiles, lasers, lightweight mirrors for telescopes, and anodes and cathodes in energy-related equipment. Advances in photonic crystals, which are photonic bandgap devices based on nanoscale phenomena, lead us closer and closer to the use of such materials for multiplexing and all-optical switching in optical networks.
Small, low-cost, all-optical switches are key to realizing the full potential for speed and bandwidth of optical communication networks. Use of nanoscale particles and coatings is also being pursued for drug delivery systems to achieve improved timed release of the active ingredients or delivery to specific organs or cell types. As mentioned above, information technology has been, and will continue to be, one of the prime beneficiaries of advances in nanoscale science and technology. Many of these advances will improve the cost and performance of established products such as silicon microelectronic chips and hard disk drives.
On a longer time scale, exploratory nanodevices being studied in laboratories around the world may supplant these current technologies. Carbon nanotube transistors might eventually be built smaller and faster than any conceivable silicon transistor. Molecular switches hold the promise of very dense and therefore cheap memory, and according to some, may eventually be used for general-purpose computing.
Single-electron transistors SETs 2 have been demonstrated and are being explored as exquisitely sensitive sensors of electronic charge for a variety of applications, from detectors of biological molecules to components of quantum computers. Quantum computing is a recently proposed and potentially powerful approach to computation that seeks to harness the laws of quantum mechanics to solve some problems much more efficiently than conventional computers. Quantum dots, discussed above as a marker for DNA diagnostics, are also of interest as a possible component of quantum computers.
Meanwhile, new methods for the synthesis of semiconductor nanowires are being explored as an efficient way to fabricate nanosensors for chemical detection. Rather than quickly supplanting the highly developed and still rapidly advancing silicon technology, these exploratory devices are more likely to find initial success in new markets and product niches not already well-served by the current technology.
Sensors for industrial process control, chemical and biological hazard detection, environmental monitoring, and a wide variety of scientific instruments may be the market niches in which nanodevices become established in the next few years. As efforts in the various areas of nanoscale science and technology continue to grow, it is certain that many new materials, properties, and applications will be discovered.
Research in areas related to nanofabrication is needed to develop manufacturing techniques, in particular, a synergy of top-down with bottom-up processes. Such manufacturing techniques would combine the best aspects of top-down processes, such as microlithography, with those of bottom-up processes based on self-assembly and self-organization.
Additionally, such new processes would allow the fabrication of highly integrated two- and three-dimensional devices and structures to form diverse molecular and nanoscale components. They would allow many of the new and promising nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes, organic molecular electronic components, and quantum dots, to be rapidly assembled into more complex circuitry to form useful logic and memory devices.
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Such new devices would have computational performance characteristics and data storage capacities many orders of magnitude higher than present devices and would come in even smaller packages. Nanomaterials and their performance properties will also continue to improve. Thus, even better and cheaper nanopowders, nanoparticles, and nanocomposites should be available for more widespread applications.
Another important application for future nanomaterials will be as highly selective and efficient catalysts for chemical and energy conversion processes. This will be important economically not only for energy and chemical production but also for conservation and environmental applications. Thus, nanomaterial-based catalysis may play an important role in photoconversion devices, fuel cell devices, bioconversion energy and bioprocessing food and agriculture systems, and waste and pollution control systems.
Manipulating Matter at the Atomic Level
Nanoscale science and technology could have a continuing impact on biomedical areas such as therapeutics, diagnostic devices, and biocompatible materials for implants and prostheses. There will continue to be opportunities for the use of nanomaterials in drug delivery systems. Combining the new nanosensors with nanoelectronic components should lead to a further reduction in size and improved performance for many diagnostic devices and systems.
Ultimately, it may be possible to make implantable, in vivo diagnostic and monitoring devices that approach the size of cells. New biocompatible nanomaterials and nanomechanical components should lead to the creation of new materials and components for implants, artificial organs, and greatly improved mechanical, visual, auditory, and other prosthetic devices.
Exciting predictions aside, these advances will not be realized without considerable research and development. As such, atomic and molecular manipulation has performed an emblematic function within the improvement of the sphere of nanoscience. New tools in accordance with using the scanning tunnelling microscope STM were constructed to represent and control all of the levels of freedom of person atoms and molecules with an extraordinary precision.
Manipulation of person atoms and molecules has additionally unfolded thoroughly new parts of analysis and data, elevating basic questions of "Optics on the atomic scale", "Mechanics on the atomic scale", Electronics on the atomic scale", "Quantum physics on the atomic scale", and "Chemistry on the atomic scale".
Manipulating Matter at the Atomic Level
This ebook goals to demonstrate the most facets of this ongoing medical event and to expect the key demanding situations for the long run in "Atomic and molecular manipulation" from primary wisdom to the fabrication of atomic-scale devices. Read e-book online Electrons in metals;: A short guide to the Fermi surface PDF. Download e-book for iPad: Spintronics for next generation innovative devices by Katsuaki Sato.
Spintronics short for spin electronics, or spin delivery electronics exploits either the intrinsic spin of the electron and its linked magnetic second, as well as its basic digital cost, in solid-state units. Controlling the spin of electrons inside of a tool can produce brilliant and gigantic adjustments in its homes.